Speakers

Please note: this page will be expanded as more speakers are confirmed. Please check back often for updates.

- The Netroots New York Team

Speakers


Leo Casey, Vice President United Federation of Teachers

George Gresham (President, Service Employees International Union 1199)

New York City Councilwoman Letitia James

City Councilwoman Letitia James has served Fort Greene and Clinton Hill with tremendous popular support since 2003, when she became the first candidate to win on the Working Families Party line. During her law career, James served as a public defender for the Legal Aid Society representing countless young individuals in the criminal justice system and is a strong critic of racial profiling. She co-Chair’s the infrastructure task force and is a founding member of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus. Known for her stance against the Atlantic Yards Arena, Councilwoman James is dedicated to responsible development that protects the unique character of New York’s diverse communities while increasing the availability of affordable housing. An advocate on behalf of low income communities, Councilwoman James has passed legislation to protect residents from slum-like housing conditions. She has campaigned for food justice around the boroughs, successfully encouraging the expansion of farmers markets to under-served communities. During her tenure as Chair of the Council’s Contracts Committee, James’ held hearings on compliance with and expansion of MWBE programs; the outsourcing of public services to the private sector as well as the City costs for potentially unnecessary private labor. She was considered an early whistleblower of the Office of Payroll Administration’s CityTime contract, a payroll system that she criticized as being overly costly and difficult to manage in numerous committee hearings. As current Sanitation Committee chair, she seeks to address the administration’s lack of operational transparency and communication through legislative change.

New York City Councilman Brad Lander

Brad LanderBrad Lander is a lifelong community activist who was elected to the New York City Council in 2009, and has quickly become a leader in the Council on issues of affordable housing, community development, the environment, and public education. Prior to serving in the City Council, Brad headed the Pratt Center for Community Development and the Fifth Avenue Committee, where he expanded the city’s affordable housing stock and became known as a tireless advocate for the New York’s working people.

Donna Lieberman

Donna LiebermanDonna Lieberman has been executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union since December 2001. Before that, she was the founder and director of the NYCLU’s Reproductive Rights Project. Under Lieberman’s leadership, the NYCLU has expanded the scope and depth of its work, supplementing and strengthening the pursuit of litigation with an aggressive legislative advocacy and a field organizing program that works on behalf of civil liberties and civil rights. As a result, the organization is widely recognized as the state’s leading voice for freedom, justice and equality, advocating for those whose rights and liberties have been denied, especially for those most marginalized by society. Lieberman began her public interest legal career as a criminal defense lawyer in the South Bronx office of the Legal Aid Society, and she later acted as executive director of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys. She served on the faculty of the Urban Legal Studies Program at City College for nearly a decade.

State Senator Gustavo Rivera

Gustavo RiveraGustavo Rivera was elected State Senator for New York Senate District 33 in November of 2010, beating disgraced former Senator Pedro Espada by a nearly 2-1 margin. In addition to serving as a State Senator, Gustavo Rivera continues to serve as an adjunct professor of Political Science at Pace University. Prior to becoming a State Senator, Gustavo Rivera worked as a community organizer for several local and state candidates including Jose Serrano Jr.’s and Andrea Stewart Cousins’ campaign for state senate as well as Fernando Ferrer’s campaign for Mayor of New York City. In early 2008, SEIU hired Rivera to manage their activities on behalf of Barack Obama in several crucial primary states. Rivera ultimately traveled to Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas – even to his home of Puerto Rico – on behalf of Senator Obama. Senator Obama then tapped Rivera to serve as his Hispanic Vote Director in the crucial swing state of Florida. Rivera then returned home to New York State to serve as Director of Community Outreach for US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

New York State Senator Daniel Squadron

Sen. Daniel SquadronElected to the New York State Senate in November 2008, Daniel Squadron is serving his second term representing the 25th Senate District, including Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In the Senate, Senator Squadron has worked tirelessly to reform Albany; strengthen affordable housing; promote comprehensive, community-empowering economic development; ensure pedestrian and road safety while enhancing regional transportation infrastructure; protect the most vulnerable in our society; and secure parks and open space for all communities.

His legislative achievements include passage of a bill to allow more than $1 billion in federal funds for New York City public housing in the next 15 years; “Hayley and Diego’s Law” to crack down on careless driving and increase pedestrian safety; a bill to prohibit public officers from using government resources for their own, for-profit business; and a bill to bring benefit corporations to New York, unlocking billions in investments in companies that pursue a positive societal impact.

At the heart of these priorities is Senator Squadron’s ability to bring diverse parties together to find practical solutions that make government work better for people and communities.

Senator Squadron is the former chair of the Senate Social Services and Cities Committees, and current ranking member on the Social Services and Investigations & Government Operations Committees.

A graduate of Yale University, Senator Squadron lives in Carroll Gardens with his wife and son.

Elon James White

Elon James WhiteElon James White, Editor in Chief of ThisWeekinBlackness.com is a Brooklyn-based comedian, writer and host of the award-winning web series This Week in Blackness, a satirical look at race, politics and pop-culture in a so-called “post-racial” America. White has been a featured commentator on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, VH1′s “Black to the Future” & “The Great Debate.” His commentary on race and politics has been featured on CNN.com, Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, Giant Magazine, Alternet & The Root. Praised as “The perfect comedian for the Obama era, talking race while exploding racial stereotypes” by Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry on Politco.com & as “Precise, thought provoking and hilarious” by Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead, White continues to win accolades from critics, academia and audiences alike.

New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams

Jumaane D. Williams

Since being elected in 2009 to represent the 45th District in the New York City Council, Jumaane D. Williams has been a tireless advocate for his constituents. In the wake of the devastating Haitian earthquake of January 2010, he helped coordinate the 45th District Haitian Relief Effort, a mobile clinic that provided economic and legal assistance to those affected and their families. As chair of the Oversight and Investigations Committee, Jumaane co-chaired hearings in all five boroughs to probe the city’s failed response to the blizzard of December 2010. He is also a member of the Higher Education, Housing and Buildings, Immigration, Land Use, Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses and Youth Services committees. Additionally, Jumaane serves as co-chair of the Gun Violence Task Force, vice chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus and is a founding member of the Progressive Caucus.

In the district, Jumaane has brought his experience as an organizer to help unleash the community’s full potential with realistic solutions, not political rhetoric. He has instituted a participatory budgeting process for a portion of his discretionary capital budget; under this approach, everyday citizens come together to propose, develop and vote on projects that will be funded in the upcoming year. Jumaane has also focused on engaging local citizens in their community, establishing the Community Volunteer Corps. Additionally, the office’s Youth Anti-Violence Initiative, now housed at East Flatbush Village, seeks to provide positive alternatives to young people that will keep them out of the streets.

In the months ahead, Jumaane will continue his focus on reform to the NYPD and the City Charter, as well as push for the rights of New York City’s public school children and its tenant population.

Jasiri X

Emcee and community activist Jasiri X is the creative force and artist behind the ground breaking internet news series, This Week with Jasiri X, which has garnered critical acclaim, thousands of subscribers, and millions of internet views. From the controversial viral video What if the Tea Party was Black?, to the hard hitting hilarity of Republican Woman…stay away from me, Jasiri X cleverly uses Hip-Hop to provide social commentary on a variety of issues. His videos have been featured on websites as diverse as Allhiphop.com and The Huffington Post and Jasiri has been a guest on BET Rap City, The Michael Baisden Show, Free Speech TV, Left of Black, and Russia Today.

Jasiri X first burst on the National and International Hip-Hop scene with the powerful hit song Free The Jena 6 which was played on more than 100 radio stations and was named Hip-hop Political Song of the Year. His debut album, American History X, was named Album of the Year at the Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Awards. A six time Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Award winner, Jasiri recently became the first Hip-Hop artist to received the coveted August Wilson Center for African American Culture Fellowship. A founding member of the anti-violence group One Hood, Jasiri started the New Media Academy to teach young African-American boys how to analyze and create media for themselves.

Jasiri has performed from New York City to Berlin, Germany and various cities in between, including recently in front of 30,000 at the Our Communities Our Jobs Rally in Los Angeles. He has toured colleges and universities across the country presenting his innovative workshop, How to Succeed in Hip-Hop Without Selling Your Soul, and is working on a book of the same name. He also blogs for Jack and Jill Politics, Daveyd.com, and The Black Youth Project. Jasiri X signed a record deal with Wandering Worx Entertainment and is currently working on his album, Ascension with acclaimed producer Rel!g!on.


Sarah Baker

Sarah BakerOver the past few years, working with her colleagues from New Kings Democrats, Sarah has been at the forefront of a progressive movement for political reform in Brooklyn, NY and has experienced the powerful impact that grassroots organizing can have on communities. Sarah honed her campaign skills on borough-wide and city-wide races in New York City, and in 2010 she focused on change at the hyper-local level as the Campaign Manager for Lincoln Restler, an insurgent State Committee candidate who beat the Brooklyn Democratic machine’s hand-picked hack.

These days, Sarah is doing a stint in DC as the Digital Director for the Candidate Project, a program of the New Organizing Institute, where she strives to engage new leaders across the country in the local electoral process.

Chris Baily

Chris BailyChris Baily is a Designer and founder of Lightfield Creative, a creative agency focused on interactive design and digital strategy. Chris was previously the Chief Strategy Officer for Pure West, and the head of Marketing, Brand Development, and Digital Strategy for the National Economic Opportunity Fund – a social venture fund focused on impoverished neighborhoods.  Chris is also the Creative Director for the Manhattan Young Democrats, where he has been responsible for lots of cool flyers in the past year (plus the new website).

Chris received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornell University, where he was awarded the David R. Beane Prize for excellence in the Fine Arts. He has also received a Presidential Scholar Award in the Arts, was an Arts Recognition and Talent Search (ARTS) Awardee, and his artwork has been displayed in New York, Rome, and at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

Corinna Barnard

Corinna is editor of the daily, nonprofit news service Women’s eNews which reports on women’s issues around the world. Her journalism background spans coverage of finance, arms control, medicine, technology and parenting issues. In her most recent full-time position she worked for Dow Jones, Inc., where for many years she served as news editor for an international newswire covering emerging markets and later as a copy editor for The Wall Street Journal. Earlier in her career, Corinna was a radio commentator for “In The Public Interest,” a national public-affairs radio program.

Greg Basta

Greg BastaGreg Basta is the Deputy Director for New York Communities for Change, social media director for the Beyond May 12 labor/community coalition, and co-founder of Occupy The Boardroom. Greg has worked at NYCC since its inception in March of 2010, and has supervised the creation of its field canvass operations, website and social media program, and its research department. Previously, Greg was the New York Canvass Director and National Canvass Consultant for ACORN, from 2004 to 2009.

Beth Becker

Beth BeckerBeth Becker is a co founder of Progressive PST, a social media consulting company that works with campaigns, legislative offices, unions and non profits. She is also works part time for ProgressiveCongress.org & is the Exec. Director of Progressive Congress News. In her spare time she’s a twitter addict who does a lot of work with OccupyDC, an avid reader and blogger of all things soups and cats.

Ilana Berger

Ilana BergerIlana Berger is Co-Director of the New Bottom Line, a national alignment of community organizations, congregations, labor unions, and individuals working together to build a movement that challenges established big bank interests to create an economy that works for all of us.  She has been a professional community organizer for over 15 years.

Kenneth Bernstein, aka TeacherKen

Ken BernsteinKenneth J. Bernstein is a National Board Certified Social Studies teacher and nationally known blogger. He was a 2010 Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding teacher, and served on the executive committee of the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action. He blogs on education and other topics as teacherken at Daily Kos and under his own name elsewhere, including in the past for the New York Times Lesson Plan blog, CNN, Education Week / Teacher, and elsewhere. He is a member of the Teacher Leaders Network.

Lindsay Beyerstein

Lindsay BeyersteinLindsay Beyerstein is an award-winning investigative journalist and a staff writer at In These Times, where she writes the blog Duly Noted. Her stories have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, Slate, The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and other publications. Her photographs have been published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times’ City Room. She also blogs at Clear It With Sidney, a publication of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, a non-profit that honors journalism in the public interest. Originally from Vancouver, Lindsay holds a Master’s Degree in philosophy from Tufts University.

Julie Blitzer

Julie BlitzerJulie Blitzer is a User Experience Designer at AppNexus, one of New York’s most successful startups that is reshaping the display advertising industry. She previously was the User Experience Lead for Advomatic, where she worked with non-profits and good causes including AlterNet, GLAAD, UFT and the PowerShift 2011 conference. Julie is an alumna and the Co-Director of the NYC Chapter of New Leaders Council, a fellowship for young professionals interested in civic engagement. She is also a Mentor for Startup Weekend NYC.

Past speaking appearances include SXSW Interactive 2010 & 2011, Netroots Nation 2010 & 2011, IPDI’s Politics Online, YDA’s Biennial Convention and Organizing 2.0. Julie is a member of the Interaction Design Association, Information Architecture Institute and NYC Usability Professionals Association. She has a B.A. in Government from Claremont McKenna College, where she wrote her thesis on the relationship between technology and political campaigns. Follow Julie on Twitter @zhuli

Darcy Burner

Darcy BurnerDarcy Burner is former President and Executive Director of ProgressiveCongress.org and the Progressive Congress Action Fund. A candidate for Congress in Washington State’s 8th district, she was the principal author and organizer of the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, endorsed by more than sixty candidates for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. She is also a member of the Afghanistan Study Group.  She has been a guest featured on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, the Ed Show, C-SPAN, ABC, NPR, Pacifica Radio, and a host of local programs, and featured in Roll Call, Politico, The Hill, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Huffington Post, DailyKos.com, The Nation, Mother Jones, and as a keynote speaker at Netroots Nation alongside Bill Clinton and Howard Dean.

Mary Clinton

Mary ClintonMary Clinton is a 25-year-old labor activist and Organizer for the UAW Local 2110. Having participated in Bloombergville and Occupy Wall Street, she facilitated a workshop on organizing encampments against austerity and the domination of our government by the financial elite at the AFL-CIO Young Workers Summit in Minneapolis. Taking the position that Labor must participate as part of a broader social movement in order to affect real social change and make improvements that meet the immediate and long-term needs of its members, she proposed a statement of support for OWS. The statement was passed overwhelmingly by the young workers present at the convention, who the charge for support expressed by the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council days later. While OWS did not seek endorsements of institutions and organizations, Mary argues that the support from Labor provided momentum to the occupy movement and signaled an important step in the right direction for the beginning of a better labor movement. Mary is also a graduate student at the CUNY Murphy Institute in Labor Studies and suffers from a severe Facebook addiction.

Abigail Collazo

Abigail CollazoAbigail is a Project Manager at Turner Strategies, where she handles media outreach, online communications and progressive advocacy efforts, in addition to serving as the Editor for Fem2.0, and online community of progressive feminists. She has extensive experience in grassroots organizing, social justice advocacy, and media relations.

Beginning in 1999, Abigail served as a Motivational Speaker for Free the Children, delivering presentations to over 8,000 young people about youth empowerment, globalization, international human rights, and child labor. Abigail then worked for 3 years on the staff of Senator Amy Klobuchar, handling a wide range of policy issues including foreign affairs, defense, and global women’s issues. She also served as the Communications Director for the Women’s Congressional Staff Association. Abigail has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Mount Holyoke College. She is a Fellow with the Partnership for a Secure America as well as a Truman National Security Project Congressional Security Scholar. You can follow her on twitter at @abigailcollazo.

Matt Cowherd

Matt CowherdMatt is an attorney in New York and the Co-Founder and President of New Kings Democrats. “NKD” is a progressive, grassroots political organization committed to bringing transparency, accountability, and inclusionary democracy to the Kings County Democratic Party in Brooklyn. Founded by veterans of the Obama campaign, NKD serves as a training ground for individuals seeking to become more engaged in local politics, and hopes to nurture a new generation of elected Brooklyn Democratic leaders. Through NKD’s efforts over the 2008 and 2010 primary election, Matt has helped to recruit and train nearly 200 candidates for County Committee and other elected offices in Brooklyn as part of a grassroots effort to reform the Democratic party in Brooklyn.

Bryce Covert

Bryce CovertBryce Covert is a writer and editor living in New York. She is Editor of the progressive economics blog New Deal 2.0, a project of the Roosevelt Institute, where she writes a weekly column on credit card debt, “The Swipe.” Her writing has appeared on The Nation, AlterNet, GOOD Magazine, Feministing, and others. She previously worked as a financial reporter and head of the energy sector at mergermarket, an online newswire that is part of the Financial Times group. She covers topics including feminism, economic equality, renewable energy, and progressive politics.

Colin Delany

Colin DelanyColin Delany is founder and editor of Epolitics.com, a website that focuses on the tools and tactics of Internet politics and online advocacy. Launched in July of 2006, Epolitics.com received the Golden Dot Award as “Best Blog – National Politics” at the 2007 Politics Online Conference. The site also features three downloadable e-books, “Learning from Obama,” “Online Politics 101″ and “How Candidates Can Use the Internet to Win in 2010.”

A former staffer in the Texas Legislature, Delany has worked with advocacy groups and political campaigns to leverage the power of digital communications tools since 1996, and is currently the Director of Outreach and Online Communications at the National Women’s Law Center.

Joe Dinkin

Joe DinkinJoe Dinkin is the Communications Director for the Working Families Party. Joe started at WFP in 2004, knocking on doors in Westchester County on the campaign to raise the minimum wage. When the campaign succeeded in lifting wages for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, the victory was infections, and Joe stuck with it. Since then, Joe has worked on a wide variety of issue campaigns — from winning the nation’s first statewide paid sick days law in Connecticut to the fight for a state bank in Oregon to the recent (partial) extension of the millionaires’ tax in New York — as well as in support of dozens of progressive candidates from City Councilors to US Senators. Joe leads the WFP’s communications efforts, both in traditional media and online, in a growing number of states.

Jenni Dye

Jenni DyeJenni Dye is a Wisconsin attorney, progressive activist, and social media organizer.  Jenni works at Community Justice, a non-profit law firm, as an advocate for low and moderate income individuals and is actively involved in efforts to educate the public regarding Wisconsin law and their legal rights. The daughter of two teachers, she has always been passionate about public education and economic justice. Jenni lives in Fitchburg, WI, a suburb of Madison, where she is currently running for Dane County Board against a conservative incumbent. She can typically be found glued to her smartphone, which has been a key tool in her efforts as part of the progressive/labor movement in Wisconsin.

Rachel Figueroa-Levin

Rachel Figueroa-Levin is: a soapmaker at: http://neighborhoodbath.com; a hyperlocal Inwoood NYC blogger and editor at http://inthewoodnyc.com; a diarist, mommy blogger, and satirist at http://mrslevin.com; a pain in the tush at http://twitter.com/elbloombito; a puerto rican jewish wife, mother, tech junkie, tinkerer, artist, nerd, apple fangirl, & work in progress.

Julianna Forlano

Julianna ForlanoPerformer, writer, professor, and activist, Julianna Forlano is the producer and host of the weekly satiric news segment The Ironic News Report which can be seen on The Real News Network and a number of other progressive and comedic sites (archives at www.IronicNewsReport.com). Julianna has performed live at Netroots Nation 2011. Other notable performances include regular appearances on The Daily Show and Friends Show, performing with Laughing Liberally, and making an old liberal lady laugh so hard she sprayed seltzer through her nose during a performance at The Friar’s Club in NYC. Once named Chicago’s Funniest Comic by Reader’s Digest, Ms. Forlano had the pleasure of performing at President Obama’s Inaugural Ball. Julianna Forlano teaches Media Studies, Broadcast Journalism Ethics, and Comedy Scriptwriting at Brooklyn College. She also created and leads trainings on how to use humor as an organizing tool and is currently a contributing speechwriter to former (and hopefully future) Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Ede Fox

Ede FoxEde Fox, a born and bred New Yorker, has worked for the New York City Council since 2006, first as the Legislative and Budget Director for Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito and currently as Chief of Staff for Councilmember Jumaane D. Williams. In these capacities, Ede has helped negotiate sustainable development projects, bringing much needed jobs and affordable housing to local communities, and worked for legislation to protect tenants’ rights.

Ede has worked on numerous political and union campaigns, from helping health care workers get the contracts they deserved, to conducting grassroots organizing to elect progressive, community-minded candidates at all levels of government, from District Leader, to City Council, Congressional, Gubernatorial and Presidential races. She is an active board member of Brooklyn Community Board 8 and serves as the Chair of its Environmental/Sanitation Committee, in which capacity she has championed statewide issues like the anti-hydrofracking movement as well as local concerns including the responsible use of pesticides in public areas.

In 2010, Ede successfully ran for a County Committee seat with New Kings Democrats in order to bring politically minded, but not yet active neighbors into the political process. This past year, Ede co-founded Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform (PHDR), a new democratic club committed to fighting for trans­parency, accountability, and inclusionary democracy at the local level.

Ede recieved her Master’s in Anthropology from UCLA and Advanced to Candidacy for her Doctorate before returning home to New York City. In addition to chairing the Environment/Sanitation Committe of Community Board 8, she is also a member of the Dean Street Block association, Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform, New Kings Democrats, Brooklyn Neighborhood Congress, and she is an organizer for Occupy Brooklyn.

Michael Freedman-Schnapp

Michael Freedman-SchnappMichael Freedman-Schnapp is the Director of Policy for New York City Council Member Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn). He previously served as Senior Policy Associate for the New York Industrial Retention Network and a community planner for the Center for Court Innovation. A community activist at heart, Michael co-led the revitalization of the civic association Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, in advancing open space, affordable housing and livable streets in North Brooklyn. He holds a Master in Urban Planning from NYU’s Wagner School for Public Service and a B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Moses Gates

Moses GatesMoses Gates is the director of the Community Housing Association of Managers and Producers (CHAMP), a program of the Association for Neighborhood Housing Development. He has worked in New York City housing and community development since 2001, and is a licensed New York City tour guide.

Paul Getsos

Paul GetsosPaul Getsos has participated in a wide array of social change work over the past 20 plus years. His experience draws from movement building, issue-based advocacy, community organizing, electoral politics and legislative work. He is co-author of the book, Tools for Radical Democracy, which is a how to manual in the basics of organizing and how to develop and win issue campaigns. He is the co-founder of Community Voices Heard, a membership organization of low-income people, mostly women on welfare. Paul has worked for national and regional coalitions, including Health Care for America Now, the PUSHBACK Network, the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support, and Jobs for America Now. He built and managed a coalition of community groups that created a jobs program that eventually became the Local Jobs for America Act in 2010 which secured over 170 sponsors in the House of Representatives. He has provided technical assistance and support to community organizations in job creation campaigns, including one in Chicago which secured the creation of 10,000 jobs using economic stimulus funds. Most recently he has studied social movements in Argentina to learn how to adapt practices to the US social justice movement.

Mark Winston Griffith

Mark Winston GriffithMark is the Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a new community organizing and civic infrastructure building organization based in Bedford-Stuyvesant/Crown Heights, and is a member of the faculty of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism where he teaches a class on urban social issue reporting. Over the years he has served as the Senior Fellow for Economic Justice at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, the co-director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, and was the co-founder of the nation’s largest Black-owned, community-based, credit unions. Mark’s articles and public policy analysis have appeared in dozens of publications including the New York Times, the Nation, the New York Daily News, the Huffington Post, the Village Voice, the Source, Spin, and Mother Jones. In 2009 Mark was a candidate for the New York City, narrowly losing to incumbent Al Vann in Democratic primary.

Kristen Gwynne

Kristen GwynneKristen Gwynne graduated from New York University with a degree in Journalism and Psychology. She covers Drugs at AlterNet, specializing in addiction and prescription pills. Gwynne grew up in the Philly area and is based in New York. She is the youngest AlterNet employee.

Katie Halper

Katie HalperBorn and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.”

Katie is currently editing her next documentary, Another Camp Is Possible, about Camp Kinderland (where Katie went, and her mother and grandmother worked) and their “Peace Olympics,” the camp’s non-violent and socially conscious alternative to Color Wars.

Adriel Hampton

Adriel HamptonAdriel Hampton is chief organizer at NationBuilder and founder of Gov 2.0 Radio.

Adriel is a frequent speaker on open government, social media, and technology innovation and is president of the San Francisco Technology Democrats. In 2009, he became the first person to announce a run for Congress through Twitter. He has more than 12,000 followers on the popular micro-blogging platform and is also manager of the popular Government 2.0 group on LinkedIn. He also produces and hosts Leaders and Creators, the NationBuilder podcast featuring the world’s top organizers.

Adriel has spoken on Gov 2.0, social media for government, podcasting, the future of governance, innovation, and blogging at Webzine, the National Association of Government Web Managers National Conference, Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp, Gov 2.0 Kuala Lumpur, and at pro bono “Citizen 2.0” events. He has used his social media expertise to help preserve parkland in California, and to promote open government principles through prominent Twitter accounts @gov2feed and @citizensuite and a Citizen 2.0 page on Facebook. From 2005 to 2011, Adriel worked as an investigator for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.

John Hlinko

John HlinkoAs a youngster, John Hlinko never dreamed he would one day record a Grammy-winning duet with country music legend Willie Nelson. And indeed, it never happened. But he has been long recognized as an innovator and “Buzz Czar” on the grassroots marketing front, using a combination of emerging technology and creative communications to achieve maximum results within extremely constrained budgets.

Hlinko has worked with some of the biggest breakout viral success stories, starting with MoveOn.org in its earliest days, and continuing up to a “draft Obama” effort to build support for Barack Obama in advance of his presidential run. He is the founder of “Left Action,” a network of more than a million progressive activists (LeftAction.com). Hlinko is also the author of the forthcoming book, Share, Retweet, Repeat: Get Your Message Read and Spread, to be published in early 2012.

Sarah Jaffe

Sarah JaffeSarah Jaffe is a journalist, rabblerouser, and internet junkie. She is currently an associate editor at AlterNet.org, where she writes about economic justice, activism, and more, is a former Nation intern and was Web Director for GRITtv with Laura Flanders. She lives in Brooklyn with a rescue dog and too many books. You can follow her exploits on Twitter at @seasonothebitch.

Elizabeth Jenkins

Elizabeth JenkinsElizabeth Jenkins is an artist and activist in New York City. For more than 10 years, she has been dedicated to converting traditional grassroots organizers into tech junkies. She is currently the New Media Coordinator at 32BJ SEIU — the largest property service workers union in the country and the largest private-sector union in the state. Former Director of Data and Technology for Change to Win, she has also worked for Planned Parenthood in Washington, DC as well as unions and non-profits in New Orleans and St Louis. Even though she lived in China for two years, she has never seen the Great Wall.

Biola Jeje

Biola JejeBiola Jeje is a junior studying Political Science at CUNY- Brooklyn College. She is an organizer with the Brooklyn College Student Union, a group of autonomous individuals joined together in a collective of students, faculty, and staff. The Union was founded in the Spring of 2009, to empower and give a voice to the entire student body by engaging in sustainable and grassroots movements and ideas. She is also an organizer at Occupy Wall St. , as well as NY Students Rising, a statewide network of students organizing in defense of public higher education.

Allison Kilkenny

Allison KilkennyAllison Kilkenny is a contributing reporter for In These Times and The Nation. She currently writes about all things uprising. One time, G. Gordon Liddy said her writing makes him want to vomit, which is the best compliment she’s ever been paid.

Justin Krebs

Justin Krebs is a political and cultural entrepreneur based in New York City, and author of “538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal.” He is co-founder and Executive Director of Living Liberally, a national organization that creates social events around progressive politics including Laughing Liberally comedy shows, Screening Liberally films, Reading Liberally book clubs, Eating Liberally meals and best known for the 300+ chapters of Drinking Liberally happy hours. He is one of the founders and Artistic Directors of The Tank, a non-profit venue for performing arts and public affairs in Manhattan. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the New Organizing Institute and contributes regularly to the political website of WNYC, New York’s local public radio.

Yetta Kurland

Yetta Kurland is a well know civil rights attorney and a community leader on the West Side of Manhattan. Her work has included the fight for health care on the lower west side, representing protestors as part of the occupy movement and advocating for LGBT rights. Yetta shocked the political establishment when she ran a surprisingly strong challenge against incumbent City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in 2009.

Jesse Laymon

Jesse LaymonJesse Laymon is Citizen Action of New York‘s Downstate Campaigns Manager. Prior to joining Citizen Action, Jesse was Lead Organizer and GOTV Director for progressive electoral campaigns with MoveOn.org and Obama for America, and in 2010 he managed the campaign of a progressive Democrat running for NY State Assembly. Jesse has also worked in the issue advocacy world, building a nationwide online activist pool for Americans for UNFPA, a non-profit that works in support of global women’s rights. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in international relations.

Jason A. Lefkowitz

Jason LefkowitzJason Lefkowitz is the founder and president of Rogue Repairman Productions, a consultancy that makes technology suck less for progressive campaigns and advocacy groups. Before founding RRP, he served as online director for the Change to Win partnership of labor unions and for Oceana, an international organization working to protect the world’s oceans. During the 2008 campaign, he was @fakejohnmccain on Twitter, and after that he was @redwhiteandnews. From 2002 to 2005 he wrote the blog Ant’s Eye View, which identified and explored a number of ideas that would later become recognized as “Web 2.0″ before those ideas had names. He has been building Web sites and applications since 1995.

Should you want to find out more about him for some reason, he has blogged regularly on tech and politics at Just Well Mixed for a decade. He is also on Facebook, because why not.

Olivia Leirer

Olivia LeirerOlivia Leirer is the Social Media and Communications Director for New York Communities for Change, a membership driven organization that works to empowers working families to fight for the issues affect their communities. She lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend and two cats.

Sherry Leiwant

Sherry LeiwantSherry Leiwant is Executive Director and co-founder of A Better Balance. Sherry has over 30 years of experience working on legal issues affecting poor women. As a staff attorney at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now Health and Human Services) she worked on issues involving welfare and medical care for the poor. As a senior staff attorney for 12 years at the Welfare Law Center (now National Center for Law and Economic Justice) she worked with grassroots welfare groups helping to organize efforts to improve public assistance, litigated cases involving welfare issues, wrote articles on welfare law and trained legal services attorneys working on welfare issues. As a senior attorney at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (now Legal Momentum), where she worked for 10 years, she developed the State Advocacy Project, a response to the 1996 changes in welfare that focused on issues intersecting women’s rights and poverty (discrimination, child care, violence and reproductive rights), working with advocates, lawmakers and regulators to improve Federal, state and local policies affecting poor women. Sherry graduated summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University and has a law degree from Columbia School of Law. She has three children and has served on the boards of Bank Street College and Basic Trust Infant and Toddler Center.

Elana Levin

Elana LevinElana Levin is Director of Strategy and Client Relations at Advomatic, a progressive web development firm. She recently served as Communications Director for the Writers Guild of America, East, and Assistant Director of Communications building New Media programs at Workers United/SEIU and UNITE HERE. Previously, Elana ran communications for the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, working with Advomatic on TheMiddleClass.org. Having hired Advomatic twice, she decided she should probably just join the team.

A former community organizer and campaign worker herself, Elana also serves as Chair of Organizing 2.0— a group that leads workshops on online organizing, communications and strategy for grassroots organizers (and is putting on Netroots New York. right.now). She tweets about labor unions, #OccupyWallStreet & superhero comics at @Elana_Brooklyn

Christine Yvette Lewis

Christine Yvette Lewis, a ‘Jill’ of many trades, is an Activist/Leader/Advocate/Member with Domestic Worker’s United where she advocates against the exploitation of domestic workers and has spoken in schools and colleges across the country . She is a freelance journalist and reporter with Community News Production Institute and she co-host’s the show ‘Global Movement Urban Struggle’ on WBAI 99.5 FM  every last Thursday in the Month from 10 to 11 PM. She is a  poet whose work is featured in the recently released Anthology, Caribbean Erotic: Poetry, Prose and Essays; a pannist, who plays in and around the tri-state area and an avid knitter.

Mike Liddell

Mike LiddellMike leads the Digital Services team for NGP VAN and provides strategic consulting rooted in his deep campaign experience that includes new media work for dozens of campaigns. Mike previously served in the Obama Administration as New Media Manager for the Department of the Treasury, where he led the award-winning redesign of Treasury.gov.  Before Treasury, Mike was the Director of Online Communications for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) during both the 2006 and 2008 cycles where he worked closely with Senate campaigns across the country to develop innovative new approaches toonline campaigning.  In the past, Mike has worked on a wide array of Democratic campaigns including presidential, gubernatorial, congressional, mayoral, and state representative races, among others. A seven-time Pollie Award winner and two-time Webby Award Honoree, Mike is a proud University of Texas (UT) Longhorn who built his first political website for a student government race at UT.

Matt Lockshin

Matt LockshinMatt Lockshin is a campaign manager and online organizer at CREDO Action, where he runs progressive issue advocacy campaigns, including recent work to hold Wall Street banks and the mortgage industry accountable for widespread foreclosure and mortgage fraud. At CREDO, Matt has led efforts to grow the e-mail list that have resulted in it quadrupling in size to nearly 2.5 million people in 30 months.

Matt began his online organizing career at It’s OUR Healthcare, a statewide health advocacy coalition in California, where ran an innovative text-to-screen campaign that was awarded a Pollie for Best Mobile Campaign by the American Association of Political Consultants.

Prior to joining CREDO, Matt was the Director of Online Organizing for the California Democratic Party.

Matt cut his teeth as a grassroots volunteer and organizer, and was the founder and principal author of the blog Say No to Pombo from October 2005 until June 2006. He studied philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley and currently resides in Oakland.

Xavier Lopez-Ayala

Xavier is the New Media Coordinator at The New Media Firm, a full service political media consulting and advertising agency specializing in the integration of traditional and new media for democratic candidates and progressive organizations.  Xavier joined The New Media Firm from the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, where he managed the online strategy for the communication hub’s online issue advocacy and independent expenditure campaign in Minnesota’s gubernatorial election. At ABM, Xavier also worked with America Votes and State Voices table partners to optimize their online efforts to educate, engage and mobilize targeted voters through the use of mobile, online advertising and social media.

Christopher Malone

Christopher MaloneChristopher Malone is Associate Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Pace University, and serves as Policy Director for Bronx State Senator Gustavo Rivera. Malone teaches courses in American Politics and Political Theory. His academic research focuses primarily on race and American political development, democracy and citizenship. He is the author of Between Freedom and Bondage: Race, Party and Voting Rights in the Antebellum North (Routledge Press, 2008) and is a regular contributing author to the Law and Politics Book Review. Malone analyzes politics for Good Morning Hudson Valley, USA Today, The New York Times and 1010 WINS in New York City. He is a nationally recognized teacher of civic engagement and public values and was identified by the Washington Post in 2004 as one of the nation’s most innovative professors.

Yotam Marom

Yotam MaromYotam Marom, 25, is a political organizer and writer based in New York City. He grew up in Hoboken, NJ, studied at McGill University and the New School, and has spent significant time in Israel. Yotam is a member of the Organization for a Free Society, and has been active in the New York student movement and anti-austerity struggles in the past. He is also a founder of the Without Walls Educators Collective, teaches social justice and group dynamics in a high school, has a background in communal living, and has spoken on and published writing about a variety of topics. He has been involved at OWS since before the occupation began, and has spent much of his time helping to organize many of the actions carried out.

Ari Melber

Ari MelberAri Melber is a correspondent for The Nation magazine, the oldest political weekly in America, a writer for the magazine’s blog, a television commentator, and an attorney.

Melber served as a Legislative Aide in the U.S. Senate and as a national staff member of the 2004 John Kerry Presidential Campaign. During the 2008 presidential election, Melber traveled with the Obama Campaign on special assignment for The Washington Independent.  He authored a 74-page special report for techPresident analyzing the first year of Organizing for America, the 13-million person network that grew out of the Obama campaign, which Northwestern political scientist Daniel Galvin called “the most comprehensive and insightful account of Obama’s ‘Organizing for America’ to date.”

As a commentator on public affairs, Melber frequently appears on national television, including NBC, CNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, FOX News and Bloomberg News; his views have been quoted by publications such as The Washington Post, The New York Times and Time, among others; and he has been a featured speaker at Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Columbia and NYU, among other institutions.

Melber received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a J.D. from Cornell Law School, where he was an editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. He is a member of the New York Bar and the American Constitution Society.

Harold Miller

Harold MillerHarold Miller is New York Communities for Change Upstate Director and a community organizer for over 8 years. Currently running the upstate NY campaign for local municipalities to divest from JP Morgan Chase. Other issue campaigns include: the fight against school budget cuts and poverty and improving public safety in the Capital Region.

Dan Morris

Dan MorrisDan Morris is Director of Communications at the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which represents 100,000 workers in retail, food processing and other fast-growing sectors. He serves as the union’s media and communications strategist for highly visible campaigns like Living Wage NYC and WalmartFreeNYC. Recently, he ran the press operation that helped secure a landmark contract for several thousand Macy’s workers at the global flagship store in Manhattan. Before joining the RWDSU, he was director of communications at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a leading progressive think tank. He’s placed high-impact news stories and op-ed articles in numerous media outlets around the country. And he’s written on politics and economics for publications like The Nation and The New York Daily News. He’s also co-editor of the recent book From Disaster to Diversity: What’s Next for New York City’s Economy?

Anna Mumford

Anna MumfordAnna Mumford produces, shoots and edits online video content for labor unions and civil rights organizations. Current clients include the ACLU, SEIU and the Communication Workers of America (CWA). Anna started her work in the progressive community as a union organizer for SEIU, and worked in strategic communications for Change to Win and John Edwards for President.

Udi Ofer

Udi OferUdi Ofer is the advocacy director at the New York Civil Liberties Union. Ofer is responsible for overseeing the NYCLU’s work to influence public policy in the areas of education, immigration and national security. He is responsible for supervising the NYCLU’s policy work to ensure that school safety practices do not infringe on the constitutional rights of students. He also oversees campaigns to pass comprehensive immigration reform, protect students from bias-based harassment, and ensure adequate oversight of military recruitment practices in schools. He is an adjunct professor at New York Law School where he teaches a course on public policy.

Laura Packard

Laura PackardLaura is currently Senior Digital Strategist for PowerThru Consulting, a nimble team of progressive tech strategists with real-world experience building membership and activating people-power to serve the common good. Laura has consulted on internet strategy and taught sessions around the country for progressive political campaigns, non-profits and small businesses. She ran the new media department for the Bill Halter for Senate primary campaign in 2010, and directed the Secretary of State Project after.

Miriam Zoila Pérez

Miriam Zoila PérezMiriam Zoila Pérez is a doula, writer and reproductive justice activist based in Brooklyn. She is the founder of RadicalDoula.com, a blog that connects the dots between reproductive justice and birth activism. Miriam is also an Editor at Feministing.com and a freelance journalist. She has received various awards and recognitions for her work, including a 2010 Barbara Seaman Award for Activism in Women’s Health from the National Women’s Health Network. She works with social justice groups around the country on online communications and strategy.

John Petro

John PetroJohn Petro is a writer, researcher, and commentator on New York politics and policy. He is a policy analyst at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a progressive think-tank based in New York City. John’s writing covers a wide variety of subjects, from economic development, transportation, housing, economic justice, and labor. John’s opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Huffington Post.

John Quinlan

John QuinlanJohn Quinlan is a Madison, WI-based journalist, nonprofit development consultant, civil rights activist, media reformer, gay community leader,and radio show host. He was a leader in documenting and producing social media coverage of the Wisconsin Protest Movement, and created the Facebook group, “Media Coverage of of WI Capitol Protests.” He received the city of Madison’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 2008 Humanitarian Award, in recognition for 30 years of advocacy on behalf of civil rights and social justice in Madison, Wisconsin, and beyond. www.johnquinlan.net

Lincoln Restler

Lincoln RestlerLincoln Restler ran a successful grassroots campaign for State Committeeman and District Leader in an effort to clean up the Brooklyn Democratic Party.  In this capacity, Lincoln is the Democratic Party leader for the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint.

Professionally, Lincoln is the managing director of the New York City Employment and Training Coalition, which is a coalition of 200 NYC-based workforce development organizations. Lincoln serves on Community Board 2, is a board member of Pratt Area Community Council, one of Brooklyn’s premier affordable housing developers, and is a leader of New Kings Democrats, a progressive organization committed to involving more Brooklynites in local politics and striving to reform the local political establishment.

Alyssa Rosenberg

Alyssa RosenbergAlyssa Rosenberg is a culture reporter for ThinkProgress.org. She is a correspondent for TheAtlantic.com and The Loop 21. Alyssa grew up in Massachusetts and holds a B.A. in humanities from Yale University. Before joining ThinkProgress, she was editor of Washingtonian.com and a staff correspondent at Government Executive. Her work has appeared in Esquire.com, The Daily, The American Prospect, The New Republic, National Journal, and The Daily Beast.

Liza Sabater

Jeremy Saunders

Jeremy SaundersJeremy Saunders has worked as a professional organizer in NYC for ten years and at VOCAL-NY since 2007. Prior to VOCAL-NY, Jeremy organized with ACORN, Community Voices Heard, Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition and consulted for a number of other NYC organizing groups. His older brother was a leading member of ACT UP New York.

Allison Sesso

Allison Sesso has served as Deputy Executive Director of the Human Services Council of New York (HSC) since 2003. HSC advocates for the nonprofit human services organizations that provide critical services such as programs for seniors, youth, and the homeless and disabled to improve the lives of people throughout New York City’s five boroughs. Sesso’s past professional experiences include working at a prominent investment bank, at the New York Public Interest Research Group, and as the coordinator of a program for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse in Florida. As a Fellow at SUNY Albany’s Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, Sesso worked with the Empire Justice Center on statewide child care policy issues. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch/CUNY’s School of Public Affairs. While pursuing her undergraduate degree at SUNY Cortland, Ms.Sesso spent a semester interning at the Belize Government Agency of Disability Services. She also serves on the Board of the nonprofit Hollaback! an international movement dedicated to ending street harassment. Powered by activists around the world, Hollaback’s mission is to make public spaces safer for girls, women, and LGBTQ individuals.

Joel Silberman

Joel SilbermanJoel Silberman (Founder and President, Media Talent 2.0 Inc) comes to political communications from a disciplined theatrical and musical career and is now a widely respected media strategist/trainer for progressive organizations, online activists and candidates. Some of his past and present clients include: Van Jones / Rebuild The Dream, People for the American Way Foundation, the Young Elected Officials Network, Media Matters for America, the New Organizing Institute (NOI), the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the National Women’s Law Center, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, The Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, Markos Moulitsas (DailyKos.com), Nate Silver, Mike Lux, Lt. Dan Choi, GetEQUAL, Our Time (OurTime.org) and numerous Federal, State and Local elected officials. (@joelsilberman)

Amber Sparks

Amber SparksAmber Sparks is the Assistant to the Director, New Media, at the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union in Washington, DC. She earned her M.A. in Political Communication from George Washington University. She’s a bonafide tech geek and can talk to you about shiny toys all day, but in the end her passion is empowering workers–whether through online tools and/or through plain old-fashioned boots-on-the-ground organizing. You can follow her on Twitter @ambernoelle.

Nelini Stamp

Nelini StampNelini Stamp is a 24 year-old community organizer for the Working Families Party in New York, mobilizing middle and working class families across the state. She began her career in political activism in high school organizing an anti-war student walk out. From there she has been involved in organizing around various state issues including progressive taxation, housing discrimination and social services. Nelini has most recently been involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement where she has been bridging the gap between OWS and community organizations and unions. She is an avid writer of protest chants and songs.

Matt Stoller

Matt StollerMatt Stoller is a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and a contributing editor to Naked Capitalism.  He is the former Senior Policy Advisor for Rep. Alan Grayson.  While on Capitol Hill, he worked on the Federal Reserve transparency provisions of Dodd-Frank (the “Audit the Fed” bill), as well as on foreclosure fraud and consumer protection.  Prior to his work for Grayson, Stoller was a co-founder of the blog OpenLeft.

Bobby Tolbert

Bobby TolbertRobert “Bobby” Tolbert is a member of VOCAL New York and is on the Board of Directors. Bobby has been HIV-positive since 1995, was formerly homeless in the NYC shelter system, and has worked for much of the past decade as a peer health educator in the Bronx and Brooklyn. A long-time activist for social justice, he has helped lead VOCAL-NY campaigns to expand syringe access, prevent overdose deaths, and hold Wall Street accountable for the financial crisis. He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including the Associated Press, New York Daily News and Albany Times Union around his activism, and has blogged for the Huffington Post. He was also recently arrested for disrupting the House of Representatives to oppose cuts to healthcare funding. He is a member of the Community Church of Astoria congregation in Queens.

Julian Tysh

Julian TyshJulian Tysh has been a member of Teamsters Local 814 and an art handler at Sotheby’s for 6 years. He is currently on the union’s bargaining committee and also holds a volunteer position of Organizer for the local. Julian is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

Torvic Vardamis

Torvic VardamisTorvic Vardamis is a Senior member of the support team at NGP VAN,the leading technology provider to progressive campaigns and organizations, offering an integrated platform that combines the best fundraising, compliance, field, organizing, and new media products. He hails from Maine where he spent most of the last decade working on campaigns. Torvic moved to Boston in 2008 to work at the then Voter Activation Network and since then has spent a good deal of time explaining the origin of his name to the people that he meets here–his father’s name is Victor and his parents switched the syllables to make “Torvic.”

Yana Walton

Yana is communications director of Retail Action Project (RAP), a membership organization of retail and fashion workers dedicated to improving the retail industry and creating good jobs.  Prior to joining RAP, she was Vice President of Communications for the Women’s Media Center, an organization working to make women visible and powerful in the media. A media activist with a background in U.S. women’s and LGBT American history, Yana was previously the Southern Media Field Strategist at GLAAD, where she was responsible for monitoring and responding to media, training activists and coordinating media campaigns in 12 Southern states.

Harry Weisbren

Harry Waisbren is a co-founder of the Job Party and a social media analyst. He is an ardent supporter of both the Wisconsin uprising and Occupy Wall Street, as well as a proud Wisconsinite and NYC transplant alike.

Aaron Welch

Aaron Welch is a partner and CEO of Advomatic, a full service web development firm that builds high performance websites for good causes using the Drupal content management system. Advomatic is a pioneer of open source technology development for non-profits, advocacy organizations and the progressive movement and has worked with a wide variety of awesome clients including the ACLU, GLAAD, Center for Media and Democracy, Rutgers University, Sony Music, The New York State Senate, the NRDC and the TckTckTck campaign. Prior to founding Advomatic, Aaron worked as web developer for Dean for America’s Iowa web team, and was an active contributor to Drupal itself. In his spare time he scuba dives and eats fire.

Michael Whitney

Michael WhitneyMichael Whitney is a campaign director at Change.org. An activist and organizer at his core, he grew up thinking the “End Construction” signs on highways were protest signs erected by citizens fed up with construction delays. Michael previously directed digital strategy for the progressive political blog Firedoglake.com. He also managed online campaigns for economic justice at several labor institutions, including SEIU. Michael got his start in online politics as the co-founder of Generation Dean, the youth organizing arm of Howard Dean’s presidential campaign.

L. Joy Williams

L. Joy WilliamsL. Joy Williams is a political strategist and founder of LJW Community Strategies, a boutique government and public affairs firm based in New York. Ms. Williams has been featured on BET, Pacifica Radio in New York and Los Angeles and is a frequent contributor on NY1’s Inside City Hall, NewsOne.com and The Brock Report. She is also News Coordinator and co-host of the widely popular podcast Blacking It Up! and serves as a strategic advisor to elected leaders and organizations across the country.

Widely recognized as a highly effective asset, Ms. Williams has served in a variety of career-defining positions. She began her career in politics as a Field Volunteer for the McCall for Governor campaign in 2002, served as Campaign Manager for New York State Assembly Member Karim Camara, a GOTV Supervisor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the Kerry/Edwards 2004 Presidential campaign, the Election Supervisor for Pacifica Foundation/WBAI Radio in New York, was a special assistant to former New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and a program assistant at Demos, a nonpartisan public policy and advocacy organization. Ms. Williams served as deputy director of community relations to former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson and went on to become Thompson’s political director in his 2009 mayoral campaign.

Ms. Williams is founding Chairman of Higher Heights for America, 1st Vice-President of the Brooklyn NAACP, serves on her local community board and is a resident of Bedford Stuyvesant.

Florence Williams-Johnson

Florence Williams-JohnsonMy name is Florence Williams-Johnson, born and raised in the small town of South Jamaica, New York. I’ve been a Union Member all my working life, the last 25 years as an 1199 UHE Member. I’m now working with United NY to win back the American Dream and end the over arching income disparity for all working people.

Jamia Wilson

Jamia WilsonJamia Wilson is a feminist media activist, organizer, and storyteller. Jamia is currently Vice President of Programs at the Women’s Media Center where she works on amplifying women’s voices and changing the conversation in the media. She trains women and girls so they are media-ready and media-savvy, exposes sexism in the media, and directs the WMC’s social media strategy. Before joining the Women’s Media Center team, Jamia worked for Young People For the American Way, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Federation of America where she managed their youth outreach program Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood. Her words and works have been featured in GOOD Magazine, CBS News, Alternet, GRIT TV, In These Times, NBC’s The Today Show, Fox.com, and more. Jamia serves on the leadership committee for SPARK Movement and is on the board of directors for Feminist.com and REVEAL.

Deanna Zandt

Deanna ZandtDeanna Zandt is a media technologist and the author of Share This! How You Will Change the World with Social Networking (Berrett-Koehler, June 2010). She is a consultant to key progressive media organizations including AlterNet and Jim Hightower’s Hightower Lowdown, and is a Research Fellow at the Center for Social Media at American University. Zandt specializes in social media, is a leading expert in women and technology, and is a frequent guest on CNN International, BBC Radio, Fox News and more. She works with groups to create and implement effective web strategies toward organizational goals of civic engagement and empowerment, and uses her background in linguistics, advertising, telecommunications and finance to complement her technical expertise. She has spoken at a number of conferences, including Netroots Nation, SXSW Interactive, Personal Democracy Forum, the National Conference on Media Reform, Facing Race, Web 2.0 Expo, Bioneers, America’s Future Now (formerly “Take Back America”), Women Action & The Media, and provides beginner and advanced workshops both online and in person.

In January 2009, Deanna was chosen as a fellow for the Progressive Women’s Voices program at the Women’s Media Center. She also serves as a technology advisor to a number of organizations, including Feministing, The Girls & Boys Projects and Women Action & The Media. She is on the board of the Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank and home for media and activism.

Photo by Parris Whittingham.

Peter Rickman

Jesse LeGreca